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Understanding Property Taxes In New Hampshire

By Tabitha Naylor

If you are a homeowner, you have to pay property taxes. Prior to purchasing a home, you should take time to fully understand the local property taxes, as well as special assessments that will impact, and may increase, you actual cost of home ownership.

Owning a home is a much more involved financial obligation than renting. Renters pay a security deposit and first and last month's rent when moving in to a place. Homeowners have a larger pool of costs to address. In addition to the monthly mortgage payment, you have to consider the amount of property taxes and other assessments to get a full view of the actual costs you will incur. When you fully understand these expenses it will help you know how much you must pay each month and be able to budget appropriately.

Property Taxes

Each year, the state, county and city of where you live will charge a certain amount of tax on your piece of real estate. For the majority of homeowners, the property taxes that they pay are the largest expense associated with owning a home, other than the actual mortgage.

Direct Assessments

In addition to the annual property taxes, direct assessments are types of flat fees that are imposed on each piece of real estate that is located in a certain city. This money is then used for a number of services that are not otherwise covered, or not sufficiently funded, by the actual property tax revenue that is collected. Some of the most common projects that are funded with these assessments in the state of New Hampshire include:

  • Local schools
  • Prevention of violence
  • Enhanced presence of police and law enforcement
  • Recreation and parks
  • Pest control
  • Library services
  • Public transportation
  • Street lighting and landscaping

Special Assessments

There are many cities that have recently required developers of subdivisions to create a plan for the long term funding for the emergency services, schools and parks that will be directly benefited by the addition of the subdivisions and to ensure that the new addition of homes do not drain the current services that are available. These types of dedicated services that may actually be located inside of the subdivision, but are considered usable by all nearby homes, are funded for the extended period by the application of special assessments.

When you have found a home that you are interested in purchasing in the state of New Hampshire, it is important to determine the amount of property taxes that you will face once the purchase is complete. In most cases the data for the tax year is disclosed from the seller to the purchaser during the escrow process. This will help the person that is purchasing the home plan how much will be needed each month to make their payments. This will also help you determine whether or not you are ready to handle the true costs that are associated with home ownership.

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